Out of the clouds, into the bright blue sky

As my wiper blades blurred over the windshield as fast as they could squeegee the water off from a torrential British Columbia spring rainfall, I suddenly began to wonder if maybe I wasn’t making a huge mistake moving to Alaska. I wondered what my people back home really thought about me moving to Alaska all by myself, not knowing where in Alaska I would end up, if I could find a job and not knowing a single soul up there to boot? The year was spring, 1994. The rain had not let up for over 24 hours after just crossing the Washington State-British Columbia boarder. I had another 2,000 miles to go to my first destination, Soldotna, Alaska.

I continued down the narrow highway in my SUV pulling my new home for the next few months, a small pop up tent trailer, which further scared the people closest to me, as they warned me that I was making it easy for grizzly bears to find their next easy meal, ME. “Oh, I hope I’m not making a mistake Lord,” I thought. “Even better,” I thought, as the huge rain drops machine gunned the roof of my car pounding out deafening doubts as I slowed down so as not to miss the sharp curves of the winding climbing road going up deeper and deeper into the Cascade mountains. “What am I doing,” I screamed, “This is crazy!”

“Driving twenty four hours straight on a strange road all alone is one thing, but in a miserable blinding rainstorm, this is insane,” I thought. I had thought this would be an awesome experience, driving through the most beautiful scenery of British Columbia would be equally awesome, but the dark gray light and down pouring rains were dampening my enthusiasm to say the least. Then, I distinctly heard in my inner man, a voice echoing through my soul, “If My people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and forsake their wicked ways, then, I will hear their cries from Heaven, and I will forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

This was the voice of the Lord to Solomon after the temple of Jerusalem was completed years before Jesus would appear. This was a scripture back in 1993 that would hound me for over a year to herald wherever I went, including to Alaska. That was my calling. To be a voice in Alaska calling out into the wilderness, “prepare ye the way of the Lord.” It was like a bell chiming on a church steeple non stop warning of impending danger.

“If My people”… That’s me, that’s all of us called by God. That’s not just the Jewish people, but all of God’s children everywhere, “who are called by My name”… people who are aroused inwardly by God’s calling, people whom God chose to reveal His Son Jesus to. “Will humble themselves,” that’s a tough one. How does one really humble themselves? Sackcloth and ashes, plus fasting? That’s how they use to do it. You put on garments made of short scratchy stiff goat or sheep hair, go to a burn heap and cover yourself with ashes from head to toe and then go on a fast until you experienced a breakthrough with God. I didn’t feel God telling me to do quite that, but that to spiritually realize who I was in the presence of the Almighty God who created all the Heavens and the Earth. Being humbled by the pure presence of Him as the Holy of Holies, The one and only Great I AM. To feel how small I am in comparison to a Mighty God who can be everywhere all at once and know what everyone is thinking and doing. The same God who knows when each and every one of us looses a hair on our head. Now I feel humbled. Who am I?

“And pray.” Do we really know how to pray? I mean when we are alone, are we desperate when we pray for contact with God? Do we really pray in faith knowing that God our Father is really hearing us? Do we believe that God really cares about our needs? Do we really expect God the Father to answer our prayers when we pray? Do we keep a secret place to return to, to meet our Heavenly Father? “And seek God’s face.” Moses wanted to see God’s face. Do we have a desire to see God’s face? Are we really serious about our relationship with an Almighty God who says He delights in us and cares about everything in our lives? That’s what His word says. When we get down on our knees or prostrate on our face, do we really seek God’s face, however long that may take?

“And turn from your wicked ways.” That’s another hard one. Do I just say I want to repent, or do I really mean it? Repenting means a complete change of heart. The bible says the heart is desperately wicked. Then it must be. Accept it, we were born with wicked hearts. Admit it, ask for forgiveness for your wicked ways from the Lord and accept His forgiveness through Jesus Christ and His Cross and move on to what God has next for you. Don’t sweat the small stuff, you can’t do anything to make up for the way you are, Jesus did it for you. Be glad, give thanks and let God be God in your life. He is the author and finisher of your faith, it’s His job to clean you up, just say “YES LORD” I give you permission, you can clean me up, I’m yours, all yours, amen. When we have made the decision to allow God to change our hearts with a new heart fully committed to Him, then the change will occur in God’s timing.

“Then I will forgive your sins.” God is a loving and kind God in every aspect of the gift of forgiveness. He created forgiveness. His desire is to forgive every wrong we have ever done if we confess our sins and acknowledge Jesus suffering and dying on the cross as our payback, God’s atonement for our sins. Everyone knows when they sin. That’s what the bible says. If the bible says it, then it’s true. Look it up. Better yet, google it. If you want to know where in the bible a scripture is, just google it. You usually only need a few words of a quote to find out exactly where in the bible what you are looking for.

“And Heal Your Land.” This is God’s heart people. God wants to heal our land more than anything on earth for us. He wants the best relationship with all of us that He can give, as a father has with his son or daughter. When we do all that God asks us in 2 Chron 7:14, He will do His part. He will forgive our sins, our many sins, and heal our land. We need God’s Love and forgiveness for our wickedness. We need to be made new by His touch, His relationship with us. God, Jesus God, stands with open arms saying to us, “Come to me, you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you life.” We have no idea how much Jesus wants us to experience life. The world is spinning crazily around us, full of darkness and misery. In the mist of it all, Jesus is still standing in for the Father saying, “Come unto me and I will give you Truth you seek , Life worth living and show you the Way to Eternal Joy.”

Now is the time to say yes to Jesus. He is waiting just for you. Just let go of your ball and chain and take His hand and don’t let go. Do all that 2 Chron 7:14 says to do and watch for Jesus to do for you what He says He will do.

So I prayed that day, “Lord, if this rain doesn’t stop right now, I’m going to turn around and go back where I came from and I mean it!” Don’t you know, within a second, I saw the rain let up and within a mile drove out of a dark cloud into the brightest blue sky I had ever seen. It was like driving from one world right into the next. Like I had died and landed right in Heaven. The view was out of this world. I pulled over to get a feel of it all, stepped outside my car and turned around and looked back from where I had just drove. I saw the darkest blanket of clouds rolling down a mountain side flowing with fresh fallen snow, trees covered like cotton candy and what appeared as a tunnel where the highway came rolling through. Yes, I finally made it to Soldotna and without another drop a rain the whole rest of the way, Praise God!

Mark Conway is a Christian evangelist living in Sterling Alaska with his wife Maryna. He can be reached at akmark50@hotmail.com.

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